Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers Blog

Bart Bernard Named One of Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Louisiana

November 20, 2018 News 0 Comments

National Trial LawyersBart Bernard was selected for membership in The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers for Louisiana 2018 – a prestigious accolade bestowed on the nation’s most accomplished courtroom advocates.

This honor is extended to a select group of civil attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications, leadership skills and outstanding results as a trial lawyer – distinguished achievements that many attorneys are incapable of claiming.

Bart Bernard – Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Louisiana

Membership in this premier organization is by invitation only and limited to the top 100 trial attorneys who have demonstrated excellence in their respective state or region. Bart Bernard, a respected Lafayette personal injury lawyer, is proud to join the ranks of this elite group of trial attorneys and considers it a privilege to provide effective, results-driven advocacy.

Attorney Bart Bernard was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. After earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Louisiana and his J.D. from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center, he clerked for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gerald H. Schiff and then joined the legal department at the New Orleans branch of Harrod’s Casino. In 1997, he founded the Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers in Lafayette, advocating for clients injured in motor vehicle accidents, offshore and maritime accidents and cases involving industrial workplace injuries.

With millions of dollars in jury verdicts secured for his clients, Bart Bernard has the skills and expertise to be successful in the courtroom. His numerous trial wins have earned him inclusion in the Elite Lawyers of America as well as the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

About the National Trial Lawyers

The National Trial Lawyers is a professional organization that provides accreditation to distinguished lawyers based on a rigorous, multi-phase selection process. The criteria used to evaluate prospective members includes:

  • Year’s verdicts and settlements as a trial attorney
  • Outstanding reputation among peers, the public and the judiciary
  • Leadership skills and inclusion in other trial lawyer associations
  • Peer nominations from top trial lawyers, and current members of The National Trial Lawyers
  • Consistently high ratings and rankings by established legal organizations

Bart’s passion for helping people, especially those in the local communities of Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, is the driving force in his illustrious career.

To schedule a private consultation with Louisiana personal injury lawyer Bart Bernard, please call today. Hit Hard with Bart Bernard™.

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How To Take Care of Babies Going Through Opioid Withdrawal

November 12, 2018 Opioids 0 Comments

Premature newborn baby girl in the hospital incubator after c-section in 33 weekAs the number of people addicted to opioids continues to rise dramatically both in Louisiana and across the nation, so does the number of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Babies whose mothers were either treated with opioids or who have become addicted to opioids are frequently born with NAS. It is estimated that somewhere in the range of 55%-94% of babies exposed to opioids in utero are born with the condition.

NAS can cause problems with breathing, fever, poor feeding, and tremors. It can also cause disabilities later in life if not treated.

“Eat, Sleep, Console” Is a New and Promising Treatment Method

Hospitals are developing new and improved ways of taking care of babies with NAS. The older method was to keep babies with NAS in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). There, they were treated by doctors and nurses in a hospital environment focused on eliminating opioid dependence.  NICUs however, had no places for the babies’ mothers.

A newer method known as “Eat, Sleep, Console” has been pioneered by several hospitals to help keep mothers and babies together during this critical time. Rather than keeping babies under bright lights with monitors, the new method offers a quiet environment where mothers can breastfeed and touch their babies whenever they want. Schedules are determined by the babies’ needs rather than medical personnel; and maternal interaction is welcomed.

The new method has diminished the length of hospital stays for NAS babies  drastically. Under the NICU method, treatment averaged more than 22 days. Under the “Eat, Sleep, Console” method, hospital stays are reduced to six days on average.

A Louisiana Attorney for NAS and Opioid Addiction in Babies

Louisiana lawyer Bart Bernard is currently evaluating potential legal claims related to opioid addiction in babies and newborns. Opioid addiction is a serious problem that has grown due in part to the failure of drug manufacturers to warn parents, mothers-to-be, and their medical providers about the risks of addiction.

Was your child born with NAS or other challenges related to opioid addiction?  Tell us about your experience. Call today for a free legal consultation and Get it Done Right™ with Bart Bernard!

 Additional Resources:

  1. Gallegos, Alicia. “Caring for Babies With Opioid Withdrawal.” AAMC News. April 16, 2018. https://news.aamc.org/patient-care/article/caring-babies-opioid-withdrawal/
  2. SAMHSA. Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
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Why 18 Wheelers Crash: Common Causes and Statistics

November 7, 2018 Truck Accidents 0 Comments

Truck on freewayThe size of semi trucks or 18-wheelers makes them dangerous on the road, especially for smaller passenger cars. A collision with an 18-wheeler can wreck a car or send it spinning into traffic. In some cases, passenger cars can get crushed under the carriage.

In the most recent year for which statistics are available, 4,213 large trucks were involved in crashes in which someone was killed, a 3% increase from the prior year. The number of total accidents between passenger cars and large trucks? A quarter of a million.

Let’s look at some of the most common types of accidents.

1. Jackknife

A jackknife refers to an 18-wheeler turning in an L shape, or the shape of an open jackknife, with one half twisting to become perpendicular to the other. Jackknife accidents occur when the truck is going too fast to stop: the brakes lock, causing half of the truck to turn. Jackknife accidents can be exacerbated by improper loading.

It’s important to note that causes of a jackknife accident are not simple. The driver may be speeding, but jackknifes can also be caused by other vehicles cutting in front of an 18-wheeler, forcing them to stop. Drivers need to be very cautious in giving 18-wheelers room to stop, because these trucks take longer to stop than other types of vehicles.

2. Rollovers

Truck rollovers are most often caused by speeding, often when the truck is turning. The cabs of 18-wheelers are very high, making the center of gravity very high. If the center of gravity is upset, the truck can roll. Rollovers can also be caused by improper loading of cargo, or a combination of those two factors.

A rollover can spread debris around the roadways, creating a dangerous obstacle course on the highway for other motorists.

3. Underrides

Some of the most devastating crashes on our roadways occur when cars go underneath the body of an 18-wheeler truck. These types of accidents are called “underrides”. They can be caused if a car is following a truck too closely to stop in time, or if a truck comes to an abrupt stop.

Underrides can be catastrophic for the car’s occupants, as the car can be crushed by the weight of the truck.

18 wheeler accident lawyer Lafayette LA

Accidents involving 18-wheelers, whether in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, or elsewhere in Louisiana, can cause severe injuries and deaths. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Louisiana, you need an experienced 18 wheeler accident lawyer Baton Rouge residents rely on to fight aggressively for their rights and pursue maximum compensation.

The Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has extensive experience litigating big rig accidents. Your initial consultation with an 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Louisiana is free of charge and comes with no obligation. Call today, and remember: Hit Hard with Bart Bernard™.

Additional Resources:

  1. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2016. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2016.
  2. Nationwide. How to Share the Road with Semi Trucks. https://blog.nationwide.com/driving-near-trucks-highway/
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What Should You Do If You’re Pregnant and Addicted to Opioids?

October 31, 2018 Opioids 0 Comments

Thoughtful pregnant woman looks out the windowDo you have questions about filing an opioid addiction lawsuit in Louisiana on behalf of your newborn child? Many people throughout the nation are being ravaged by opioid addiction. But it’s even worse if you are pregnant and addicted to opioids.

Why? Because opioid addition can cause multiple health and behavioral problems for your baby. Your baby may be born with a syndrome called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which causes both health and behavioral issues. Your baby may be born prematurely, which can also lead to health complications.

Don’t Go Off Opioids During Pregnancy If You’re Addicted

So what should you do if you’re pregnant and addicted to opioids? You might think quitting is the best choice. Don’t, without talking to your doctor or another health care provider. Going “cold turkey” (as quitting abruptly is commonly called) could cause even more problems for the developing fetus, which might be forced to endure withdrawal symptoms in the womb.

So what should you do? The first step is talking to a qualified health care provider.

Therapies

The providers may recommend therapies. There are two predominant therapies for addicted people. One is called medication-assisted therapy (MAT) and one is known as opioid-assisted therapy (OAT).

The drugs you are prescribed could be methadone, buprenorphine, or naloxone. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the dosage you need and tell you how to use it.

Counseling

Another step if you’re pregnant and addicted is counseling. Your health care provider may recommend individual or group drug counseling, or both.

Counseling can help you develop skills to overcome the desire to take drugs and help you learn how to manage pregnancy. It can also provide strategies for eliminating situations in which you will be more prone to take drugs.

Consult Attorney Bart Bernard About Filing an Opioid Addiction Lawsuit

Opioid addiction can occur as a result of opioid manufactures not warning mothers, mothers-to-be and their doctors about the risks of addiction. Bart Bernard is an experienced Louisiana attorney who has assisted opioid-addicted mothers and their families whose children have been born with NAS or other difficulties related to addition.

At the Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, we will handle your situation with care and concern, and will fight tenaciously to get you maximum compensation for the harm suffered by you and your child. Our initial consultation regarding your case is free and we have two offices in Baton Rouge and Lafayette for your convenience. Talk to Bart to see if you are eligible to file an opioid addiction lawsuit. “Click Bart First, Call Bart First™”!

Additional Resources:

  1. March of Dimes. Prescription opioids during pregnancy. https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/prescription-opioids-during-pregnancy.aspx
  2. SAMHSA. Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
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How to Choose the Right Injury Lawyer

October 25, 2018 Personal Injury Lawsuits 0 Comments

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in courtIf you or a loved one have been injured by another party, you may be considering filing a lawsuit for damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages from work. But filing a lawsuit can seem overwhelming when you are already dealing with recovery from injury or even the tragic loss of a loved one. That’s why a good first step is to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer. But how can you make sure you choose the right one?

How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer

Finding names of experienced personal injury lawyers is similar to finding the name of a good doctor or real estate agent: you ask people you know or try to get references from a professional association. It’s a good idea to interview several lawyers before making a decision.

1. Talk to friends and family.

If you have a friend or family member who has used a personal injury lawyer, ask if they felt the service they received was good. Were they comfortable talking to the person? Were the explanations about their case clear and easy to understand? Was it easy to get in touch with the lawyer?

Also ask friends and family who have worked with another type of lawyer and been happy with the service, such as a divorce/family lawyer. Lawyers often work together, but have different specialties. A good lawyer in one speciality is very likely to know a good lawyer in another speciality.

2. Contact the local bar association.

Most bar associations maintain referral services, such as directories categorized by specialty area.

What to Ask During the Initial Consultation with an Injury Lawyer

Once you have several names of lawyers, you want to schedule an initial consultation about your case.

Most personal injury lawyers do not charge for the initial consultation, but be sure and ask whether there is a consultation fee before you make the appointment. Most reputable personal injury attorneys will offer a free case review and will work on contingency, meaning that they will charge you no fees unless they win your case.

It’s also a good idea to bring documentation about the case. This will help the lawyer answer your questions. If, for example, you have medical records about your injuries, police reports about the accident, or correspondence with an insurance company about claims, your lawyer can accurately identify the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and provide informed advice about next steps.

Next, you want to ask the lawyer about their experience.

Find out how many years they have been practicing personal injury law. Ask what percentage of their cases are personal injury-related. It’s also important to ask whether they specialize in injury law for the plaintiff (the person injured) or the defendant (the party accused of the injury).

You want a lawyer who is experienced, who handles a high percentage of personal injury cases, and who tries cases for the same type of client you are, whether plaintiff or defendant.

Once you have a good sense of these issues, discuss your goals and strategies. Are you seeking a larger settlement than what the insurance company offered? If the insurance company doesn’t meet your number, are you willing to go to trial? Will expert witnesses be required to help make a strong case about your injuries before a jury? Clients and their lawyers should discuss these and other issues be on the same page as to how to proceed forward.

Call Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyer Bart Bernard Today

If you’re looking for a seasoned Louisiana personal injury attorney, look no further than the Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. For our clients’ convenience, we have offices in both Baton Rouge and Lafayette.

Our initial consultation on your case is free and comes with no obligation. Call or contact Bart Bernard online today. Hit Hard with Bart Bernard™!

Additional Resources:

  1. Louisiana State Courts, https://courts.uslegal.com/state-courts/louisiana-state-courts/
  2. Justia, Louisiana Laws Civil Code CC 2323 — Comparative fault, https://law.justia.com/codes/louisiana/2011/cc/cc2323
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Your Car Accident Coverage May Not Be As Good As You Think

October 19, 2018 Auto Accidents 0 Comments

Couple Reading Letter About Husband's InjuryDo you trust your insurance company to cover you fully in the case of a car accident? After a crash, with medical bills and other losses piling up, some drivers have discovered that their trust in the insurance company was misplaced. Remember that insurance companies are running a business. They have every incentive to minimize their payouts to you, because it means more profits for them and their shareholders.

An Experienced Lawyer Can Help with Insurance Company Negotiations After a Crash

When negotiating with an insurance company after an accident, having an experienced attorney on your side can prove to be a valuable asset. A good lawyer will know the kinds of strategies insurance companies use to minimize payments to you — in other words, what they do to get you to accept less than you deserve.

Insurance companies might try the following strategies.

  1. Shifting blame – If a party other than their insured is to blame for an accident, the insurance party may not have to pay. They are skilled in attempting to shift blame, either to you or to another party. They may also try to prove that you bear a greater responsibility of an accident than you do.
  2. Getting you to admit fault – In the aftermath of an accident, people may be shaken or uncertain of just what happened. Insurance companies may ask questions that make you admit to more fault than you are responsible for — and you may not realize the import of these questions until it’s too late. They may demand statements that will later be used in court to argue that you were responsible.
  3. Minimizing or lowballing medical conditions – Insurance companies may try to minimize the significance of injuries or conditions caused by the accident, or underestimate the amount of treatment needed. They may also lowball the dollar amounts needed for treatment.
  4. Delay the claims and payments – Insurance companies sometimes gamble that if they take a very long time to process and pay out claims, people will forget, or become willing to settle for less.

Why You Should Have an Attorney Represent You

If you have been injured in a car accident, call Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. Bart Bernard is a LA car accident lawyer who knows how to play tough with deep-pocketed insurance companies and their low-ball settlement offers.

We have offices in both Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana. Our initial consultation is free of charge and confidential. Call today or contact us online today. Hit Hard with Bart Bernard™!

Additional Resources:

  1. How to Negotiate Your Car’s Value with an Auto Insurer after an Accident. ValuePenguin. https://www.valuepenguin.com/how-negotiate-auto-insurance-company-after-accident.
  2. Tips for Settling a Car Insurance Claim. https://www.dmv.org/insurance/tips-for-settling-a-car-insurance-claim.php.
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Halloween Safety Tips for Parents

October 17, 2018 Auto Accidents 0 Comments

Little children in Halloween costumes trick or treatingAs fall weather finally begins to settle into Louisiana, children and adults alike are preparing their costumes and decorations for Halloween. As you gear up for Halloween, keep in mind some often-overlooked risks and consider taking a few important safety precautions.

Halloween risks

Halloween is the only time of the year when parents are likely to dress their children in dark clothing and send them out in the neighborhood after dark, often unaccompanied. Accident statistics show that this puts children at risk for accidents, especially accidents involving cars.

Some of the factors that can lead to danger include:

  • Ill-fitting costumes and masks that obstruct a child’s vision
  • Dark-colored clothing
  • Trick-or-treating during evening hours, with low visibility
  • More than 10% of parents allow children age 5 or younger to trick-or-treat alone

Halloween pedestrian accident statistics

An often-cited statistic is that children are twice as likely to die in a pedestrian crash on Halloween than at other times of the year. However, a historic study released by the CDC puts the risk much higher – children are four times as likely to die in a pedestrian crash on Halloween – while its editorial notes explain that the results likely underestimate the true risk.

The CDC study analyzed FARS data from 1975-1996 and found that during that time period, from 4 p.m to 10 p.m. on October 31st, there were a total of 89 deaths of pedestrians ages 5-14, for an average of four deaths per Halloween evening. There were a total of 8846 deaths for all other evenings, averaging one death per evening. However, the risk could actually be higher because:

  • FARS data only counts on-road accidents, and does not include likely Halloween accident sites like driveways
  • Many communities hold trick or treat festivities on days other than October 31
  • Some Halloween festivities occur after 10 p.m.

Prevent pedestrian accidents on Halloween

If you are a parent, take the precautions to help kids stay safe:

  • Choose face paint instead of a mask, which can limit vision
  • Put reflective tape on costumes and treat bags
  • Equip kids with flashlights loaded with fresh batteries
  • Accompany kids under the age of 12
  • Teach kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street
  • Remain on sidewalks and if there is none, then walk facing traffic on the farthest edge of the road

If you will be driving on Halloween or another night when there may be trick or treating:

  • Keep watch for children crossing the street and even in driveways
  • Do not assume that once a child has crossed the street it is safe to go; there may be another child or group following
  • Drive slowly and anticipate kids acting unexpectedly
  • Eliminate distractions

Get help from a Baton Rouge pedestrian accident lawyer

Halloween can and should be safe fun for the whole family. In the tragic case of an accident, you need a skillful and compassionate advocate. Baton Rouge and Lafayette car accident attorney Bart Bernard understands the emotional and financial impact that a pedestrian accident can have on victims and their families. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, call today for a free consultation. Hit Hard with Bart Bernard™!

Additional Halloween safety resources:

  1. National Safety Council, Halloween Safety On and Off the Road, https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/autumn/halloween
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics, Halloween SafetyTips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Halloween-Safety-Tips.aspx
  3. Centers for Disease Control, Childhood Pedestrian Deaths During Halloween — United States, 1975-1996, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00049687.htm
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